Suzanne and Steven Diamond's cottage garden may be in Carmel-by-the-Sea, but it seems straight out of the south of France. A 6-foot-tall wall encloses the front yard, protecting it from street noise and blustery coastal winds while creating a sanctuary for lounging and dining.
As in France, the garden's perimeter is minimally planted, which helps conserve water. But when the gates swing open, visitors are treated to a surprising burst of color.
Landscape designer and contractor Michelle Comeau built the Provençal-style garden around a stone fountain from France. Decomposed granite paths circle the fountain, and a sandstone path leads to the front door. The lush surrounding plantings thrive on minimal water. They include roses, which provide a long season of bloom, as well as lavender and rosemary―the flowers and fragrance of Provence.
DESIGN: Michelle Comeau Landscape Design, Carmel ( www.comeaudesign.com or 831/620-0111)